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Owen Mortimer

Online events celebrate Piano Day 2020

9:33, 28th March 2020

This year’s Piano Day is being celebrated by dozens of online events around the globe as pianists and audiences shelter indoors during the coronavirus lockdown.

The headline event is a virtual festival from Deutsche Grammophon featuring performances by the label’s star pianists: Maria João Pires, Rudolf Buchbinder, Evgeny Kissin, Víkingur Ólafsson, Jan Lisiecki, Joep Beving, Simon Ghraichy, Kit Armstrong and Daniil Trifonov. Each artist will stream a short recital from their home via DG’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, beginning at 2pm GMT.

Medici.TV continues its series of Armchair Concerts with a recital by Tchaikovsky Competition prizewinner Nikolai Lugansky, broadcast live without an audience from Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall at 4pm GMT. Lugansky’s soul-stirring programme includes his own transcription of Franck’s Choral No 2 for organ and Beethoven’s fiery Appassionata Sonata. Other instalments from this series include recitals by Denis Matsuev and Boris Berezovsky.

The Piano Day website lists over 100 piano-related events, many of which have now been moved online. There’s also an official Piano Day Playlist available via Soundcloud, giving listeners the opportunity to immerse themselves in more than 250 new piano compositions. A shorter playlist with 85 tracks is also available via Spotify.

‘Why does the world need a Piano Day?,’ asks German composer Nils Frahm. ‘For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most importantly, the listener.’

Piano Day is an annual worldwide event which takes place on the 88th day of the year, honouring the 88 keys on a modern standard piano. The aim of the day is to create a platform for piano-related projects and share the centuries-old joy of playing the piano. Piano Day 2020 welcomes every piano lover to join the festivities.

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